Dental practitioners need to monitor the reviews that people post about them online continually. If they continuously monitor their online reviews from a past patient, they can easily control what people write about them. A dentist shares an idea into his approach to such situations.
A good number of dentists would agree that it can be a frustrating and challenging task to manage your reputation online. If you have been in the field for a long time just like me, then you may have gotten constructive or negative feedback on the internet.
A lot of my friends who are practicing dentists have lamented that while a lot of their patients are happy, their unhappy customers are most likely to write something negative about them online. This is true, and this goes to show how vital it is for the dentist to monitor their reputation on the internet actively.
Before I begin with the explanation of some simple and practical techniques for enhancing your online reputation, I want to provide an answer to this vital question, “Why is your reputation online so important?” The Trust Barometer by Edelman indicates that about 64% of clients rely on internet search engine feedback, and Google’s feedback a lot while making decisions about purchasing.
About ninety-seven percent out of all consumers had said that they depend on reviews on the internet to choose local businesses. About eighty-five percent out of all consumers had been told that they rely on reviews online the same way they depend on personal recommendations from their friends and family members, and about 57% out of all consumers would only choose a business that has a rating of four-star or better.
These critical numbers show that prospective patients rely on online information that has to do with your business. They also rate your integrity and service quality based on reviews they see online.
Furthermore, getting a cumulative amount of favorable and business-friendly feedback online has proven to create improvements as regards your ranking on internet search engine results pages (SERPs). It is thus crucial with the recent 2013 Insights Report from Chitika, that had suggested that close to 92% of the total traffic created from the standard search visits from Google to websites appeared on the vital page of search results. Therefore, further to driving the impressions that the consumers have of your dental practice, your reviews online can position you better to get better visibility and accessibility within search engines.
Since I have successfully explained the advantages of creating and maintaining an excellent reputation online, I am going to reveal some of the methods that I have created in amassing sincere and genuine feedback online from my past patients. A majority of dentists find it pretty awkward, too stressful, or tacky to ask for reviews from their patients. There are some right and strategic techniques to create these types of conversations. The most important thing here that enhances your chances of being successful and minimizes that awkwardness is the fact that you a great relationship with your patient that had been built around trust.
When it comes to the management of reputation, I do not claim to be an expert, plus I never received a bit of single advice or training about building an amount of positive online reviews. However, I pretty much like experimenting with new things, as well as fine-tuning my techniques. You could quickly increase your effectiveness at stuff like this. If you ask your patient respectfully for a favorable review on the internet, the worst thing that could happen is the fact that they may not do what you have asked to. You do not lose your patients if you do this. Therefore, it is pretty dull that it is not a risky or costly thing to do. If this is done the right way, when you ask your patient, this could enhance the professional relationship between the dentist and the patient.
How you can increase your success rate
The following are the different elements that can easily enhance your success rate in gathering favorable reviews from your patients on the internet. The time that this is done is critical. The moment that I had begun asking for positive feedback from patients online, I would have to wait it out for about one week or two after cleaning or a treatment appointment. If you follow this approach, you will come off with a meager success rate. I have been able to try out various after-appointment intervals. I have discovered that one of the best ways of being successful at this is to ask pretty much sooner. Sooner means that you are more likely to get positive feedback. How do you go about asking your patients for favorable reviews online?
The use of text or email is often the best approach. It is better to make it pretty simple for your patients for them to assist you in getting that favorable review online efficiently. However, out of all things, it is always believed that the use of a sincere personal approach works the best. I pretty much love having a facial interaction with people. This way, if you have asked a patient for a favorable review on the internet personally, you should depend on them to finally do it if you make use of texting or email, plus a link that directs to your business ratings page (such as RateMDs, Yelp, Google My Business). As opposed to using a verbal approach, this method makes it easy for patients to get your request simultaneously as they have been offered a chance to leave a review.
Ensure that you are creating your online image on essential websites. The reviews that you have on your business’s Google My Business web page is easily seen by potential clients when they have searched for random dental practices using Google. Besides, reviews from Google My Business add to your dental practice showing up in the regional three-pack results of search engines just above the standard listings section. This is a method of placing your business on Google’s front page.
A majority of experts have agreed that patient reviews on websites trusted by Google, like Facebook and Yelp, add to Google’s ranked results from search engines. Furthermore, amassing favorable reviews from patients from these websites is also valuable. With all respects due to Yelp, there have been some great patient reviews on the site. Then it becomes hidden or becomes “un-featured” because patients that had left the reviews were not frequent reviewers on Yelp. Because of this, I have directed all of my efforts towards getting reviews of patients on Facebook and Google. Finally, you should always be aware that elderly patients like to assume an anonymous identity when online. I have discovered that most patients that are more than 45-50 years old are still happy to leave feedback if this can be approached in a manner that sustains their anonymity. With the reputation that RateMDs, this outlet is highly recommended (plus adding your Google My Business or Facebook pages) as additional options.
Asking your patients for favorable reviews
As I have successfully revealed several relevant elements that could enhance your rate of success in getting great reviews online, you may be asking, “how do I go about asking my patient for positive reviews?”
You should let them know why you need the online reviews, their benefits to your business, and seize that chance to let them know about your dental clinic’s vision. If I ask a patient to leave a favorable review online of me, I usually send an email to them within 10 minutes after our appointment. Being a dentist, you often know more about each patient, and you would be able to understand which ones among them may not like being asked for a review. This is what I usually add in my mails to the patients.
I usually begin by reiterating the post-operative directions at important areas and reminding them about indicative post-operative symptoms, which they are likely to experience (such as sensitivity to pressure and cold as well as stiffness of the jaw). With an invasive treatment like extraction of the tooth or the root canal, I leave the number of the cell phone if they have any questions or concerns (They tend not to call you). This gives more value in such a way that they will want to return the favor.
Subsequently, I would ask for their feedback about my performance. I would let them know that useful links for this are inserted in the email and that their feedback will only take them about 30 seconds. Following this, I usually let them know that these reviews assist us in remaining competitive and relevant online. I also have them know that we are always on the lookout for new patients since we have a strong belief in our traditional, natural method of dentistry and that we know that patients cherish our open and honest treatment method.
You could speak about the things which make your dental practice unique and special
This is an essential element that you could add to your message. You should state that you prefer sincere feedback, while constructive or negative feedback is always useful. I have a belief that this takes out the awkwardness which usually accompanies asking patients for favorable reviews online. Furthermore, this is a more ethical method to go about asking for feedbacks online.
Accumulating series of favorable reviews online can go a long way in helping you earn trust with potential patients that look for your dental practices by using Google and several other providers of search engine results. By doing this, you will indirectly improve your position or search engine results ranking on pages. I have discovered that asking our patients for reviews online can be a productive and comfortable thing to do. Still, it requires persistence and the will to fine-tune your strategy continuously.
Several companies offer services related to reputation management. But I always thought that actively managing this yourself enables you to be in the good books of your patients. Furthermore, it allows you to control the entire process actively. In the end, you would want to create a reputation both effectively and ethically.